The No. 12 UAA volleyball team knocked No. 20 Western Washington under .500 in a four-set victory over the Vikings on Thursday in a battle between the highest ranked teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
The Seawolves sank the Vikings 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20 for their fourth straight win in Bellingham and 12th straight win this season.
Leah Swiss notched her fifth double-double of the season with 17 kills and 13 digs, and Morgan Hooe did a little bit of everything for the Seawolves. The senior setter recorded a season-high 47 assists, supplied 11 digs and tallied six kills on a 0.385 hitting percentage.
Hooe also became the third Seawolf to surpass 3,000 career assists.
"The person who I was most impressed with was Morgan Hooe," UAA coach Chris Green said by cellphone after the match. "She made amazing bump sets out there. Our passing wasn't the best tonight, and Morgan was able to set up kills."
In the third set with the match tied 1-1, UAA (13-1, 3-0 GNAC) recovered from a six-point deficit to take the set on a 15-4 run.
"That was huge for us to come from six points down to win," Green said. "That was a huge comeback. Obviously whoever wins the third has control of the match."
The third-set victory set the Seawolves up for a fourth set where they pulled away midway through. UAA used a 6-0 stretch to go up 16-10 and coasted to the win from there.
On defense, UAA held the GNAC's top percentage hitter to .000. Heading into the match, Vikings middle blocker Kayleigh Harper led the conference with a .372 hitting percentage, but she hit six errors and tallied only six kills against the Seawolves in 25 total attacks.
Green said solid serving by the Seawolves forced Western Washington out of its system for much of the match. UAA finished with six aces and seven service errors to one and eight, respectively, for the Vikings.
"Especially in the first game we did a good job of keeping their offense off balance," Green said. "We did win the serving battle. That's always the first step to winning a match."
Western Washington (5-6, 1-2) entered the season as the conference favorites, but the Vikings find themselves under .500 early in GNAC play after starting the season with a daunting schedule. Five of their six losses have come against ranked opponents.
"They'll get better as the season goes along," Green said. "They're gonna be a force.
"Our conference is very tough. I'm very impressed top to bottom with our conference. I think it's the toughest our conference has been in my eight years coaching (at UAA)."